Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comparing Certification Eligibility Requirements

Dear Friends -

I have been reading on some blogs lately about the opinion of some that the PMA certification exam tests candidates at the 'lowest level'. There was no explanation of what the scale of measurement was. 'Low' compared to what? What would constitute a 'high' level in their opinion? They didn't say, and therefore it's not possible for the casual reader to know if their view holds water or not.

In order to look at the facts, I did a comparison of the eligibility requirements to sit for a variety of personal trainer certifications and the PMA Pilates Certification Exam. I think the comparison is very interesting. 

The fact is that the skill and knowledge set for a personal trainer is very different from that of a Pilates teacher, and the eligibility requirements are radically different.

Have a look:  Certification Eligibility Comparison

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Some Definitions: Professional Certification, Licensure & Credential

Dear Friends:

Here are some terms for clarification. Please note that there is a difference between professional certification and licensure. One is voluntary and non-governmental (professional certification) and one is mandatory and governmental (licensure).

Professional Certification: A voluntary process by which a non-governmental entity grants recognition to an individual who has met certain predetermined qualifications or criteria specified by that entity.  There are 3 key elements to this definition: 1) Certification is voluntary. Individuals are not required by law to be certified in order to engage in a particular occupation or profession.  2) Certification programs are sponsored by a variety of non-governmental entities, such as for-profit corporations, professional and trade associations [the PMA in this case] and philanthropic organizations. They are not a form of government regulation.  3) Individuals receive certification only after the certifier has confirmed that they meet the standards set by the certification program. This means that the certification process must include some means of evaluating candidates for certification. Individuals cannot simply fill out a form, pay a fee, and become certified.’

Licensure: The mandatory process by which a governmental agency grants time-limited permission to an individual to engage in a given occupation after verifying that he/she has met predetermined and standardized criteria, and offers title protection for those who meet the criteria.’


The umbrella term that includes the concepts of accreditation, licensure, registration, and professional certification. Credentialing can establish criteria for fairness, quality, competence,and/or safety for professional services provided by authorized individuals, for products, or for educational endeavors.’

These definitions come from NOCA's Basic Guide to Credentialing Terminology, 2006. (NOCA, the National Organization for Competency Assurance, has changed its name to ICA, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence).

This is good for us all to understand. I hope it's food for thought and discussion.